Marketing Ninja Backpack: Top 3 Online Marketing Productivity Tools

It’s been just over two months since I started my full-time adventure in social media – and boy, has it been a fantastic ride. I’ve grown up during the birth of social media networks and I’ve been involved in quite a few platforms from their beginning stages, but I was always uncertain of how “good” I would be with social media as my job – or even how much I would like doing it full-time. I absolutely love spending my days researching, reading tweets and articles, writing blog posts, designing campaigns and tracking analytics. And while I’ve learned a whole lot in these two months, nothing could compare to the knowledge I’ve gained surrounding marketing productivity tools and their importance to a well-rounded, efficient and relevant marketing campaign. So, I thought I would share with you my current favorite three tools that I keep in the marketing compartment of my “ninja backpack”.

Feedly

As a Social Media Specialist, I need to know what’s going on in the world that’s going to be relevant to fans, followers, viewers, customers, etc. I could spend countless hours scouring the internet to read the blogs and feeds that have current content that I will find interesting. Instead, I’ve discovered the wonderful convenience of feed readers – I find the feed URL to the blogs and online news sites that I am most interested in and put them all into the same location for reviewing. I’ve tried several for myself personally at home and through different professions over the years, but none have compared to my latest find of Feedly.

As the website states, “Feedly is a news reader for creative minds, a simple and elegant way to read and share the content of your favorite sites.” I absolutely love the magazine-style layout which I have almost complete control over. Since I mainly use Firefox at work and at home, I use the Feedly add-on in Firefox, but it is also available for iOS, Android, Chrome and Safari. In addition to having a Feedly tab available whenever I need it, on every page that I browse, there is a small icon in the lower right of the screen which allows me to save whatever I am reading to my Feedly to read later – or I can share it on common social media networks. Pretty neat little feature, if you ask me. Feedly typically logs in with an email address, so you can login to your Feedly from any other computer with a Feedly component downloaded – another cool factor. I usually check my Feedly articles when I first arrive to the office and go through the recent articles to sort out which ones I am going to schedule into my posts. It’s a super time-saver and I love the customization features.

Hootsuite

Twitter can easily be a time-sink in terms of publishing content. At Workplace Essentials, I publish between 5-6 tweets per day, though many companies and organizations publish far more. Sometimes there’s content that I want to publish across several platforms – say LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook – and having to go to each individual page to do so was a bit too tedious. I had looked into things like Co-Tweet before and a couple different social media dashboards like Seesmic, but I had heard some great things about Hootsuite so I decided to check it out. I love this thing. Seriously.

You can access Hootsuite from any computer that can get on the internet, from your mobile device (I have the Hootsuite app on my iPhone), and it’s pretty sweet. Hootsuite allows you to bring in your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WordPress, LinkedIn, Ping.fm, Foursquare feeds and more all into your own organizational flow. I’ve set mine up with different tabs for each social network, and within each tab I have columns for my news feeds, mentions, scheduled posts, and keyword searches. Hootsuite even shortens URLs automatically to an ow.ly short URL. Love.

My #1 favorite thing about Hootsuite is the ability to schedule posts to just one or multiple social media sites in advance (I typically have 50% of my daily posts scheduled a week in advance) and they will post automatically when that time rolls around. This is fantastic for vacations or even just for getting things done more efficiently. After I sort through my Feedly articles, I go through my scheduled posts in Hootsuite and look at my newsfeeds to search for any re-tweet worthy posts or articles to look into myself.

My #2 favorite thing about Hootsuite is the add-on & desktop availability. I have Hootsuite downloaded as a desktop application via Fluid which shows up as an icon next to my Firefox icon on my Mac. This makes Hootsuite its own application – leaving my Firefox tabs to fill up with all my other tasks. The separate app is a huge deal to me, but there are also add-ons for Chrome or Prism. While that’s my favorite desktop add-on, I’ve also got the Hootbar installed in Firefox. This handy little icon allows me to go to any article, click on the Owl icon and schedule a post directly from the article versus copying the URL and then going into Hootsuite to schedule everything. Wonderful timesaver.

We actually purchased the “pro” version of Hootsuite which allows for some amazing analytics on our Twitter and Facebook networks. For just $5.99/month, these analytics are completely worth it. You can see the types of tools you will have access to with the pro-version when you are using the basic Free version – and you can absolutely just stick with the free one. I just thought you should know that the analytics reports are phenomenal and totally worth $6. : )

Visual.ly

Statistics are a crucial part of my blogging, tweeting and posting process. Many of my articles require some kind of in-depth numerical data that can sometimes be hard to wrap your mind around. Even concepts can sometimes be hard to explain with simple text and a regular image. This is where Visual.ly comes in. My older sister introduced me to this site (she’s a global studies teacher in Charlotte, NC) and I have spent so much time soaking up knowledge here. You can seriously search for just about any keyword or topic you can think of and you will find infographics that take the data or concepts and explain them with easy-to-follow images and such. These things are super appealing to the eye and are a great way to grab interests from clients around seemingly dry topics that have a wealth of knowledge if you can really explain yourself well.

Whether I’m blogging for Workplace Essentials or for my wedding business, HilaryColleen, I’ve found a wealth of information that is aestheticaly pleasing and draws me in to the very facts I’m trying to convey to my audience. I’ve also found myself just searching around here for my own curiosity. Political campaigns, how much money presidents make, the reality of student loan debt, Santa’s carbon footprint… you name it! I definitely encourage you to take a look and see what you can find. You can educate yourself and educate your prospects with these great visuals that were already prepared for you! Have some information that you would like to share? You can now create your own infographic on the Visual.ly website! Love this.

So there you have it! My top 3 web tools currently in my marketing “ninja backpack”. Investigate. Try them out. See what you think. Do you have any web tools that you think should be in every online marketing professional’s ninja backpack? Share away – I’m going to go do some Visual.ly searching… 😀

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Marketing Ninja Backpack: Top 3 Online Marketing Productivity Tools”

  1. Thank you very much for the great information you provided here, i have bookmarked this site and will come back for sure.This is exactly the information i have been looking for, thanks to you ! And please send e mail to my address : albafica@gmail.com for link blogroll exchange !Your site design look very nice, what is the theme name for this site? ..thank you and have a nice day, please update more information for us to read !!

  2. This is a really helpful blog, you came along just as I was looking for a way to monitor my links. There is so much to learn about Social media Mkting, there are always new layers to the onion to peel back. thank you. Jeri B #Jeribrunton

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: